Getting serious about the silly season
School’s (almost) out for the summer and in the media that means it’s the start of silly season.
The political summer recess, end of the academic year and almost mass exodus to sunnier climes from people in a variety of industries means that the output of serious news tends to slide.
Last summer, NowTV made headlines when it celebrated the 25th anniversary of the release of Jurassic Park with a giant statue of Jeff Goldblum.
Flash back to August 2009 and the death of ‘Britain’s best-loved carp’, Benson made the front page of The Times. The 29kg fish was said to have been caught 60 times before being found the wrong way up on a lake in Northamptonshire.
The notion of silly season dates back at least to the 19th century, with Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable describing it as “that part of the year when Parliament and the Law Courts are not sitting”.
With news outlets that are usually serious in their outlook focussing on more frivolous and fun content, it’s a great opportunity for PR professionals.
A creative pitch to a journalist that wouldn’t pass a news editor’s scrutiny during busier times could achieve valuable coverage.
The feel-good or LOL factor that many silly season stories offer also means they’re likely to be shared more widely on social media, helping brands widen their audience.
At Active PR we’re serious about helping to raise our clients’ profiles, not just during the summer but all year round. In fact we’re already planning ahead to Christmas!